Natural Medicine for Coping with Change
With all the uncertainty (financial, education, health-related) that a lot of families globally are facing there is a great need for us to return to our natural and simple state of being. Many of us are already embracing the slow pace we are now somewhat forced in to. Natural medicine has a place to help support us further, building resilience in our health and wellbeing to manage the daily stress and anxieties we all may be faced with whatever that looks like for the individual. As a Naturopathic practitioner, I wanted to share my favourite remedies that are supportive for stress, anxiety and immune health.
Note: When considering supplementation please seek professional guidance by a Naturopath or Nutritionist to ensure you are prescribed what is relevant and safe for your current health status. Additionally, vitamins and minerals should not be taken isolated without professional guidance.
An amazing mineral that has over 300 enzymatic processes, that defend oxidative stress, that is often the by-product from high anxiety/stress levels, poor diet and/or sleep, alcohol or substance consumption, caffeine consumption to name a few. A vital nutrient co-factor for vitamin A, B6, glutathione, insulin, magnesium and Vitamin C, which are nutrients all supportive for cognitive health. Supporting our nervous system helping the absorption of B vitamins, improve cellular immune health and function, anti-viral, pneumonia prevention, reduces heavy metal toxicity from aluminum additionally by increasing selenium status which is also another amazing antioxidant mineral.
Food sources of zinc: beef, brewers yeast, capsicum, egg yolks, ginger, herrings, liver, lamb, oysters, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, seafood, whole-grains. Nutrient loss occurs in any processing of grains or frozen produce.
With stress elevation comes a spike in cortisol teamed with a spike in insulin! Magnesium is a key mineral that aids glucose metabolism and insulin homeostasis. Additionally, it is beneficial for our DNA health, helping repair and promote healthy replication and transcription – another great nutrient for oxidative stress. A deficiency can influence a calcium build-up in soft tissues, ligaments, and tendons, attributing to joint pain, arthritis, cramping and stiffening of muscles. Calcium deposits can also occur in our vascular walls (cardiovascular disease) and create kidney and gall stones. Therefore, there is a critical need for us to be aware of the ratio of our calcium and magnesium dietary consumption. All too often we may consume high amounts of calcium ie: dairy products, teamed with high caffeine consumption that results in a reduction of magnesium levels. Having adequate magnesium levels can additionally help the intensity of back pain and help lumbar spine mobility!
Food sources of magnesium: Almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, eggs, goat milk, red meat, chicken, liver, turkey, molasses, leafy greens, spinach, parsley, green beans, avocados, berries, passionfruit, and bananas.
Essential Fatty Acids
Fatty acids are essential for the structure of our central nervous system, which makes them beneficial for memory, learning, and neuroplasticity. In particular, EPA and DHA fatty acids that we consume from seafood are immune regulating with supporting clinical evidence proving it has anti-inflammatory actions. Additionally EPA and DHA fatty acids are neuroprotective and are prescribed for various neurodegenerative and neurological disorders. Various studies are being conducted to provide more evidence on the benefits of anxiety, depression and psychiatric disorders, due to its antioxidant action from oxidative stress and exerting anti-inflammatory activities in the brain.
Food sources of essential fatty acids: Fish, fish liver oils, avocado, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp.
Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
A well-indicated herb for our current climate with stress and anxiety levels elevated. Siberian Ginseng is a delicious and highly beneficial herb for times of great stress and overwhelm, supporting our nervous system as well as immune. Prescribed for, fatigue and helpful for physical and mental performance. A popular tonic for overworked parents!
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea & Echinacea angustfolia)
In combination these two species are a powerhouse, enhancing the immune-modulating actions as well as anti-inflammatory and vulnerary that aid in the prevention and management of colds, flu viruses, and certain immune conditions. Taken daily long-term, Echinacea is helpful for overall health and wellbeing, beneficial for daily stresses of modern life with an adaptogenic action.
These are just a few of the many remedies that are supportive for our nervous system and immune health if you’re interested to have a tailored treatment plan to address your family’s wellbeing/immune health needs, contact me for a special offer:
‘Family Wellbeing/Immune Health’ consultation for $55 (45 minutes):
Your Family Naturopath ~ Jaunita May, M – 0423 866 959.
Consultation options are: Skype/Zoom/Telephone
The Nutrient Bible, 9th Edition, Henry Osiecki
Foundations of Naturopathic Nutrition, Fay Paxton
Challenges in the Diagnosis of Magnesium Status
Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Immune Cells
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Brain: Physiological Mechanisms and Relevance to Pharmacology
Phytotherapy Desk Reference 4th Edition
Michael Thomsen, Hanni Gennat